Thames Reach is a London-based provider that delivers support to homeless and vulnerable people through outreach, hostels, short and long-term accommodation services, floating support, specialist provision such as mental health and drug and alcohol projects, and preventative work. Thames Reach is currently developing a personalised approach across the organisation through the implementation of person-centred planning. Person-centred planning is a different way of providing support to clients, by giving them more choice and control around the kind of life they want to live and how to get there. Person- centred planning is at the core of the personalisation agenda: changing the approach to support clients get the results they want.
Thames Reach has felt able and ready to adopt and implement this personalised approach as it is in line with its ethos and values, which includes: we have the highest aspirations and respect for our service users and will never be indifferent to their individual needs. The personalisation agenda has offered an opportunity to focus on the core principle of how the organisation delivers support, enabling staff to re-evaluate the way they work with clients and place emphasis on tailoring services to meet the needs of clients in creative ways. Thames Reach has also piloted some specific projects to lead on personalisation and to explore ways that the approach can be developed. Follow the links below to read more about the pilots:
Thames Reach has taken a number of steps to ensure that personalisation is implemented in a successful and sustainable way across the organisation. These include:
“The tools concentrate on what kind of life the service user wants, what they can contribute to achieve it, what qualities and gifts they have which will help, and who else in the community will be important… Staff have been amazed by how clear service users are about what they want- in ways which haven’t been stated” (Audrey Mitchell, Director, Street and Hostel Services, Thames Reach 2010).”
There are a few tools available, some easy to use day to day, and others which require skilled facilitation and at Thames Reach are using a combination. One example of a mini-tool is the “Relationship Circle” which asks clients to consider who is in their life, what their relationship means to them, and whether they might be someone who could support them during future planning. It is a flexible tool which encourages discussion about social networks, and shows visually where the important relationships are.